Robert Burns is Scotland’s national poet. He was born in Alloway, just south of Ayr, on 25 January 1759.
He moved to Dumfries in 1788, and died there on 21 July 1796. He was only 37. In April 1786, as a way to gather money for passage to Jamaica, Burns approached the Kilmarnock printer John Wilson and asked him to print his ‘Scotch Poems’.
Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect was published on 31 July 1786 and cost 3 shillings. Its success was immediate. The volume contains some of Burns’ best work such as ‘To a Mouse’, ‘The Cotter’s Saturday Night’, and ‘The Twa Dogs’ (on display).
This is a facsimile copy of what is now known famously as the Kilmarnock edition.
Robert Burns, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect. Kilmarnock: Printed by J. Wilson, 1786; facsimile reprint, 1909.